“Diodo” is the title of Mikel del Rio’s (Arrasate/Mondragón, 1988) first individual exhibition at SC Gallery.
That story, in which painting has educated us all as an external visual memory and as a registering tool, has succumbed
to a shifting outlook, due to the evolution of meanings. Images replace real experiences and become an ever changing
and irregular tale.
In these paintings, Mikel del Río reflects, through his peculiar glimpse, upon the value of images, simultaneously
referring us to the media filter that imposes itself as a distancing element, and to the difficulty that lies in the act of
recollecting memory that surrounds his biographical surroundings. His paintings suggest that something is not quite
right or that it simply shouldn’t be where it is. They show their incompletion. They seem to be a mere arbitrary setting
of indecipherable stories.
Many of his paintings originate in an archive of images from different provenances, personal pictures, video frames,
photocopies and discarded graphic material. Documentary images of aesthetic and subjective value that shape a
particular working environment.
A posteriori, this graphic piece of information is combined, distorted, cropped, fragmented and recomposed, in a
voluntary act of being painted, to be then transformed into a different image that would allow a non restrictive approach
to what is being represented.
Symbolically speaking, one can distinguish two somehow contradicting faces in his work: one being deliberate (it is not
any more than what the author really wanted to convey), as if extracted from a general alphabet of all symbols. It is a
clear meaning that doesn’t need any explanation of any kind, it is what it is as we have in front of our eyes. The obvious
But there is another meaning, the “extra” meaning. One that is like a supplement that reason cannot quite assimilate,
stubborn, elusive, unrelenting, and slippery, that Roland Barthes defined as the obtuse meaning.
And that is where the artist, who, by looking so much and so deep into it, understands that he also can be the object of
our peeps and stares, granting a different focus on his work, one that would allow us to converge with its potential